|Horfield B||2.0-4.0||Clifton A
|John Richards||0.5-0.5||James Cobb|
|Jon Fisher||0.5-0.5||John Curtis|
|Chris Jones||0-1||Gareth Morris|
|Bob Radford||0.5-0.5||Duncan Grossett|
|Brent Perrin||0-1||Igor Doklestic|
|Nigel Pollet||0.5-0.5||Tomas Jankowski|
First match of the season for us, and with our home venue being refurbished we swapped to Horfield’s venue for this match.
I finished fairly early. Jon played his usual 1.b3 against me, and although I know a bit of theoretical stuff against that I decided to make something up instead. I wasn’t really in the mood for thinking too much, so swapped some pieces off, hoping to get a slight advantage, but missed an idea for Jon, after which I was lucky not to be much worse. We ended up in a fairly blocked position with good knight vs good bishop and not much to be done.
Dunc finished around the same time. He was playing some kind of Hippo against Bob, but after looking a bit scary for him early on it all got a bit stuffed up and a draw was agreed. There’s a hippo getting stuck in the mud joke here, if I could be bothered to think of one.
James and John were engaged in a complex looking Grunfeld, with both sides having good squares for their bits. I can’t say I really understood what was going on, so I’m going to say it was around equal. When I looked after my game was finished it really was about equal, and John could perhaps have ended up better if James hadn’t swapped off into a R+P ending. They had 5 pawns each, and although James had more space and one of John’s pawns was weak, it was just drawn. James pushed for a bit, and John was accurate, then they shook hands. A very good result for John.
On board six Tomas looked to have the better game, but it was hard to see what he could do to improve. He and Nigel sparred for a while, and they eventually ended up in a level endgame. Nigel offered a draw, but Tomas turned it down and instead
played a move that lost a pawn. I’ve done that before. A couple of moves later Tomas offered a draw back, and rather than trying to win in their mutual time trouble Nigel accepted.
Gareth & Chris played a very odd Dutch, with Gareth looking good. He was up a pawn, and then the exchange. Chris got compensation though, with a good central passed pawn. When this turned into two passed pawns I was worried Gareth could be worse. Gareth got the queens off, when I thought it’d be drawn, but one of the central pawns got chopped off somehow, leaving Gareth a clear exchange up. He then just had to engineer a position where he could sac it back and win the pawn ending, and he managed this nicely.
Igor’s game was fun to watch, probably less so to play. A dull exchange French livened up when Igor faffed about too much, and Brent started a kingside attack. It was pretty bad for Igor, and I’m sure there was a winning knight sac missed somewhere. Igor kind of survived the first wave, and even managed to win an exchange with a good cheapo, but it was getting more and more desperate, with Brent’s queen & knight threatening all kinds of nasty things. Igor kept playing tricky moves, and eventually Brent blundered, dropping his knight (with king to follow) for nothing.
So, we won 4-2, but it was all pretty unconvincing. The Horfield guys played very well, and a drawn match would have been the fairest result. But chess isn’t fair, and we’ll take the win.